Unplugging Afrie, Uganda’s newest Pop Artiste

She may not be your obvious household name in Ugandan music. But she has a couple of songs out –those I am aware of. Not many have even heard of her. A Google search returned an uncoordinated set of results. Random names from places as far-flung as India and Indonesia. It was at this point that I realized I was on a wild goose chase.

I only got to know Afrie through a friend, Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire, an avid fan of Pop, Soul and a bit of RnB, depending on the artiste (Any new release from Nneka leaves butterflies in his stomach).

Over time, I have grown to trust his pop taste, so I decided to check Afrie’s music out. A few songs were available on reverbnation; Hello SkyAskari and My life. Quite decent efforts, I must say. I am not quite sure if she has more in stock. You can check out her playlist, here.
Hello Sky begins with a somewhat laid-back intro of sorts, and one is tempted to imagine the rest of the song is going to be flat. That is until she ups her contralto to lunge into what turns out to be the song’s catchy chorus.
My life has a slightly faster tempo, with an RnB feel. Lyrics remain pretty much as simple as in Hello Sky. The production is quite okay as the instrumentation does not overshadow her voice. So she passes with flying colors on this aspect.
In both songs, she still manages to hit the high notes –by her standards; something close to mezzo-soprano. Askari, the third song on the list is sang in 2 main languages, English and Luganda, with a little blend of Swahili. It could do with a little mastering and a good video.
Overall, I think she could do slightly better with a little vocal training to make that smooth transition between the high and low notes, without necessarily veering too far off her comfortable contralto zone.
Not a bad start by any means. It only remains to be seen if she will tick all the boxes in the relevance checklist to stay afloat in today’s dynamic music industry. Hers is a tricky genre, but certainly not one that will invite weekday gigs from shanty suburbs like Bwaise. Without a proper management team, she could still hit the crowded road to oblivion.
By Dan Atuhaire

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Author: Open Mic

Open Mic Uganda is a company that presents people with a platform that promotes poetry, spoken word and related art forms. It encourages the enhancement of poetry as a recognized art form that can be used as a tool for education, communication and entertainment.